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Friday, September 5, 2008

I have to share

Hello all,

So i watched the Democratic and Republican conventions the past 2 weeks, and I must say that the mainstream media missed it all this time. How exciting was it this week to watch the Republican geriatrics meeting? And although the Democratic meeting event was more exciting, they still couldn't dance. That's what most of my friends got out of the mainstream media coverage the past two weeks. I can't stand it. I have been watching so many free speech shows (I am lucky enough to get the FreeSpeech TV channel) and reading so many indy reporter articles of what's happening outside of the conventions. If the media actually covered those happenings... wow... what ratings they would have gotten then. No mention of the ridiculous arrests made. No mention of the Ron Paul convention which was a huge success. Oh, wait, they did talk about Palin. A relative newcomer to the arena and as such, I don't have much against her. Maybe it's for a different reason altogether that I want to believe her, but the fact of the matter is that she has aligned herself with McCain (who for some reason could lift his damaged arms enough to do the "Politicians point and wave" to the empty upper deck seats of the stadium they were at). That alone is reason not to trust a pretty face. I am straying...

So, here below is an example of what I've been reading about. It is a disgusting sample of what has happened to hundreds of innocent people this week and last. It is a gross representation of what has become of our society and what has happened while we watch our TV's and stay inside our homes out of fear. Here it is:

Why We Were Falsely Arrested
Amy Goodman Truthdig September 4, 2008

St. Paul, Minnesota - Government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. As the Republican National Convention meets in St. Paul, Minn., this week, police are systematically targeting journalists. I was arrested with my two colleagues, “Democracy Now!” producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, while reporting on the first day of the RNC. I have been wrongly charged with a misdemeanor. My co-workers, who were simply reporting, may be charged with felony riot.
The Democratic and Republican national conventions have become very expensive and protracted acts of political theater, essentially four-day-long advertisements for the major presidential candidates. Outside the fences, they have become major gatherings for grass-roots movements-for people to come, amidst the banners, bunting, flags and confetti, to express the rights enumerated in the Constitution’s First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Behind all the patriotic hyperbole that accompanies the conventions, and the thousands of journalists and media workers who arrive to cover the staged events, there are serious violations of the basic right of freedom of the press. Here on the streets of St. Paul, the press is free to report on the official proceedings of the RNC, but not to report on the police violence and mass arrests directed at those who have come to petition their government, to protest.
It was Labor Day, and there was an anti-war march, with a huge turnout, with local families, students, veterans and people from around the country gathered to oppose the war. The protesters greatly outnumbered the Republican delegates.
There was a positive, festive feeling, coupled with a growing anxiety about the course that Hurricane Gustav was taking, and whether New Orleans would be devastated anew. Later in the day, there was a splinter march. The police-clad in full body armor, with helmets, face shields, batons and canisters of pepper spray-charged. They forced marchers, onlookers and working journalists into a nearby parking lot, then surrounded the people and began handcuffing them.
Nicole was videotaping. Her tape of her own violent arrest is chilling. Police in riot gear charged her, yelling, “Get down on your face.” You hear her voice, clearly and repeatedly announcing “Press! Press! Where are we supposed to go?” She was trapped between parked cars. The camera drops to the pavement amidst Nicole’s screams of pain. Her face was smashed into the pavement, and she was bleeding from the nose, with the heavy officer with a boot or knee on her back. Another officer was pulling on her leg. Sharif was thrown up against the wall and kicked in the chest, and he was bleeding from his arm.
I was at the Xcel Center on the convention floor, interviewing delegates. I had just made it to the Minnesota delegation when I got a call on my cell phone with news that Sharif and Nicole were being bloody arrested, in every sense. Filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films and I raced on foot to the scene. Out of breath, we arrived at the parking lot. I went up to the line of riot police and asked to speak to a commanding officer, saying that they had arrested accredited journalists.
Within seconds, they grabbed me, pulled me behind the police line and forcibly twisted my arms behind my back and handcuffed me, the rigid plastic cuffs digging into my wrists. I saw Sharif, his arm bloody, his credentials hanging from his neck. I repeated we were accredited journalists, whereupon a Secret Service agent came over and ripped my convention credential from my neck. I was taken to the St. Paul police garage where cages were set up for protesters. I was charged with obstruction of a peace officer. Nicole and Sharif were taken to jail, facing riot charges.
The attack on and arrest of me and the “Democracy Now!” producers was not an isolated event. A video group called I-Witness Video was raided two days earlier. Another video documentary group, the Glass Bead Collective, was detained, with its computers and video cameras confiscated. On Wednesday, I-Witness Video was again raided, forced out of its office location. When I asked St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington how reporters are to operate in this atmosphere, he suggested, “By embedding reporters in our mobile field force.”
On Monday night, hours after we were arrested, after much public outcry, Nicole, Sharif and I were released. That was our Labor Day. It’s all in a day’s work.


Well, I think this is gonna have a lot of responses and that we'll be discussing this heatedly for a while. Let me know what you think of the conventions, the mainstream medai, and what happened to these indy reporters.

Peace,
Rich

18 comments:

Dan said...

This is a classic example of how we are loosing our basic liberties. The question I have, which cannot be answered here, is why is there nothing on the news about this? Even local news channels that haven't been paid off yet. Like in the OK City bombing, local news reported on the other two, unexploded, bombs that were conveineitly forgotten after that.

This is why I say, if you ever find your self in a situation in which you are protesting, have an "innocent" outsider videotaping the ordeal. The police will confiscate any and all tapes within the group it is harrassing, but someone across the street or on a rooftop nearby will not be seen.

Than they will be caught red handed. (From the blood of the ones they roughed up)

Dan

Anonymous said...

I was completely sickened by this. How have we returned to such insanity? Incidents like this make me wonder if we've gone beyond the point of civil change. I truly hope that we haven't come to that. How bad must it get before the bulk of us are out of denial and into reality? I feel hope less.

sarah

Dan said...

No one will wake up the masses by themselves. We must all work together to inform as many as we can. We must realize that we are up against professional liers and their mass media machine. Most people will not listen, or belive, something if they do not hear Bill O Riely tell them on FOX News. It is sheer insanity. I fear that by the time that the people wake up, it will be too late for a reform campaign. Instead, it will have to be fought.

But that is for then, for now we must take our lumps with the sucess. Kieth Olbermann (MSNBC) and Lou Dobbs (CNN) have been removed (Banned) from covering political activities. They are the only two MSM personalities that have the guts to at least mention some of the issues we now face. And in response, they get censored in what they can cover.

Here are some links:

Olbermann:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqxmPjB0WSs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvz9jyf4gUk&feature=related

and the best,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2Rzt_WzrPQ


Lou Dobbs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H65f3q_Lm9U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14Li0Wa5rc0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UrI2uV_PYw&feature=related

So all we can do is what we have been doing, keeping watch and urging these "maverick" reporters to do thier job and report the truth.

Later.

Dan

Anonymous said...

Saw the first link today, Dan. Awesome stuff. No wonder he's not allowed to speak of politics anymore. Maybe he'll pull a Dan Rather and switch over to something like the FreeSpeech TV network. Wow. My connection is slow and my time is limited, so I'll get to more as they upload. Thanks for the great links, though.
Sarah, you might wanna check them out.

Rich

Anonymous said...

hey Rich,
thanks for the comment. I didn't get the job. But it was still good to get some interview practice anyway. it had been sooooooo long.
sarah

Sarah said...

Since you haven't posted in more then a month, I can only assume your head has exploded. RIP Rich

Anonymous said...

Testing- one two...

Long time since your last post, just checking in on you.

Hey Rich, hope all is well.
sarah

Sarah said...

hey rich,
i hope you had a good christmas and new year, and are doing well.
i trust you're busy with good things.

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